DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Legg-Calve-Perthes (LEG-kahl-VAY-PER-tuz) disease is a childhood condition that affects the hip. The thighbone and pelvis meet in a ball-and-socket joint. Legg-Calve-Perthes occurs when blood supply is temporarily interrupted to the ball part of the joint. That part of the bone then breaks more easily and heals poorly. The cause of the condition is not known despite considerable research.
Although Legg-Calve-Perthes disease can affect children of nearly any age, it's most common among boys ages 4 to 8.
Treatment focuses on keeping the ball part of the joint as round as possible while it heals, which can take two years or more. In some cases, physical therapy, exercises or casts are used to hold the ball firmly within its socket. Surgery is also an option, but most children with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease recover well without surgery.
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